After killing time at the airport with my freshly converted currency (and picking up a couple of bottles of prosecco at duty free in anticipation of an upcoming reunion), it was off to Iceland!

On our first night in the city, we discovered that a tub of Philadelphia costs £6. Shout out to all the Brexiteers for our current exchange rate.

Sunrise in Reykjavík! This was the view from our first (ever) Airbnb accommodation – a service I will most definitely be making use of again in the future.

The Sun Voyager (Sólfar), envisaged as a dream boat; an ode to the sun, symbolizing light and hope.

Pro-tip: when using an ultra wide angle lens, assume that everything you place in front of the camera is going to make it into the frame – your scarf included.

Naturally the first thing we did in Iceland was locate the nearest cat. (Her name was Malla, and she was the best thing™.)

I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of graffiti here in Scotland, but I actually became quite enamoured of all the street art in Reykjavik.


Hallgrímskirkja (say that 10 times fast), literally: the Church of Hallgrímur.

The largest church in Iceland, and sixth largest building in the country.

The church houses a 15m tall pipe organ by the German organ builder Johannes Klais of Bonn.

The happiest hydrant.

As we walked past this, I said to John, “Surely that must mean something else in Icelandic.”

It did not. (Coincidentally, my business cards say the exact same thing.)

The largest specimens came (appropriately enough) from sperm whales.

“Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?” Oh hey, Black Phillip, fancy seeing you here.

Top 10 worst places to take me #1: a penis museum.

I’ve heard of a cock cage but this is ridiculous.

You used to call me on my dick phone.

Cocktopus! 10 points that wo/man.

Our contribution to the guestbook.

Thank you, Penis Museum. You were a delight.

A tasteful selection of goods in the gift shop.

As the day went on, the weather picked up considerably and we stopped back at the rocket church to visit the observation deck. The statue of explorer Leif Eriksson in front of the church actually predates its construction; being a gift from the United States in honor of the 1930 Alþingi Millennial Festival, commemorating the 1000th anniversary of Iceland’s parliament at Þingvellir in 930 AD. State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson’s is said to have designed the church to resemble the basalt lava flows of Iceland’s landscape.

Some artwork inside the church while we were waiting for elevator that could only take 6 people up at a time.

Halló. Reykjavík!

The tiny landmass in the middle of the bay is Viðey Island, which has archaeological remains dating back to the early 10th century and the “Imagine Peace Tower”: a pillar of light envisioned by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon.

Well shucks.

Every street was a Rose Nylund St Olaf story.

We spent the afternoon exploring Reykjavik’s main shopping street, Laugavegur, which had some really cool independent cafes, restaurants and boutique-style shops.

Nowhere in sight (or indeed the country): a McDonalds’ or Starbucks! (Which did, sadly, mean that I couldn’t get an Iceland mug to add to the collection.)

(The little red and white one at the bottom now lives in our house.)

Adorable and useless in equal measure.

The self-professed queerest bar in Iceland.

It’s pretty hard to miss.

Me: Do you think you can sit on it?
John: No.

[cue Witch of the West music]

All roads lead to Hallgrímskirkja.

The travel information centre was also curiously gay.

All roads lead to Hallgrímskirkja.

Dinner at the does-exactly-what-it-says-on-the-tin Icelandic Fish & Chips. Ketchup was an extra £2, at which point we decided to stop converting and worry about it later, haha.

Skyr: an Icelandic cultured dairy product that has the consistency of strained greek yoghurt but a much milder flavour. It has been a part of Icelandic cuisine for over a thousand years and is traditionally served cold with milk and a topping of sugar. Or, in this case, with nuts and berry coulis.

Rear window.

Mark Liddell 2016 | Facebook | Flick | Instagram | Twitter

  1. hbhatnagar says:

    Lovely pictures and an entertaining travelogue. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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